Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    July 6, 2015 8:00am-8:31am PDT

8:00 am
>> we have four trainings per year. our initial goal was 20%. he said forget that. you just keep doing it. so he hasn't put a cap on it. which is great. i think that is a great show of support for our police department and for our city. >> through the chair we have one more question if i could. >> so, with the best of training and the best of preparations, sometimes
8:01 am
there are tragic circumstances. i guess i wanted to know how the lessons that we might learn from those tragic circumstances are then fed back into both support for the officers as well as training for future classes? >> we do. we have a section especially for the officers. of what might have happened to you or success stories. some of the officers are very private about how they deal with it. we deal with them because we have my unit that deal with whatever services they need. some of them they don't want to take the praise or be open about what is going on. but they do get the service they need. we put it there for the officers to talk about what went right or wrong with you. tell us about your
8:02 am
feelings because you are still a person behind that uniform. sometimes we forget we are still human. the officers are, we are all human and we all react to what's going on. but there is a job to do and we try to do the best with what we have at the time. >> i'm sure that whoever is involved with has a very strong flavor to mental health issues. you mentioned that a lot of mental health providers which is great and you talked about physical disabilities. however, one of the disabilities that we see more of is the social perception and
8:03 am
communication disabilities. i'm talking about people with high functioning forms of autism, asperger syndrome and this nuance an approach and they may not have an active ideation, they may not hear voices in their head, but in their interaction with police they may act suspiciously, they may not make eye contact and which automatically raises a level of suspicion. i'm wondering if you are addressing those types of disabilities in your training. epilepsy is another one. a person having pet it small seizures, are those items you are also addressing in your click
8:04 am
-- curriculum? >> we do. we talk about the veterans and how the brain functions. we saycious -- say, let me see your drivers license and they are not able to as the officer is asking. hey, just give him a little bit of time and see how he reacts to these questions. they might have a disability and may not be able to hear you right. if you tell them, i'm not going to tell you again, give them more time, maybe a different approach. be safe because officers get up there. we know there is bad people out there but there is a lot of good people too. our training is focused on that, time and distance. giving time to see whether the person is able to tell you or somehow signal to you that he has some type of physical
8:05 am
disability and not able to comply. >> physical disability is a specific thing but i'm asking specifically about autism and intellectual disabilities, i guess autism is another type of disabilities. do you address this in your training? >> we do. we have gina rodriguez who was involved in the program and now for the victims program. she taught a great class about brain development from birth to adolescence and how to identify signs of autism. i wish i would have had that class before i had kids because i learned so much with how my kids react when they do. it's great and the officers feel the same
8:06 am
way about it. >> thank you. >> thank you. is there anyone on the bridge line? >> anyone there? >> no. >> i'm sorry. staff? >> i just had a quick comment. i would like to thank lieutenant molina and terry for being here. it was greet -- great to see your work and i look forward to hearing more about what you do. thanks for being here. >> thank you both for being here. >> thank you. >> next we are going on to information item no. 7. collaboration in the mental health and criminal justice system. the success of san francisco's cit program
8:07 am
is an example of how criminal justice partners can step outside of their traditional roles to better serve people with mental health disabilities in our community. presentation by jennifer johnson, deputy public defender, behavioral health court. thank you, ms. johnson for being with us today. >> thank you and thank you for having me. before i talk about crisis intervention training i want to acknowledge that this body is something that i am very pleased to come before. about, i don't want to say how long but close to a decade you supported funding for the very first study of our behavioral health court. it was one of the first studies of any mental health court in any country. it's widely cited and replicated. i want to thank you for putting us on the map. i want to let
8:08 am
you know how much we appreciate your advocate for mental health court. i want to talk to you about collaboration. i think it's no longer unprecedented to see the police department and public defenders office to speak in unison. it is very, that type of collaboration has not been easy. the criminal justice system is an adverse real system and it should be adversarial and will remain adversarial. when it comes to mental health disabilities or other disabilities that are ending up in the criminal justice system, we need a different approach because adversarial does not work. it is not a solution based process. it is win, lose,
8:09 am
black, white. it's not what we are talking about. our mental health and criminal justice systems are in crisis because of decades of bad public policy in both systems and a lack of coordination between the systems to identify people who shouldn't be there in the first place. i can talk for an hour just on that. but, we in the criminal justice system have been left with the unfortunate responsibility, one that we were never really trained for of trying to figure out how to get people out of the system that shouldn't have been there in the first place. behavioral health court collaboration began a decade or more laid down the foundation of future collaborations that are happening in san francisco. the award ceremony was incredibly special. i think that was the moment that san francisco and the
8:10 am
police department, both the community owned this program and said this is where we want to go. very clearly it is not a police program, it's a community program. it's driven by and communicated by and held accountable by the community. the most poignant symbol was having that collaboration with freed bach cohost this. they don't always get along and it was
8:11 am
with great purpose. i think the cit program has so much promise. but it only has promise if we continue this collaboration. what that means in looking towards the future is how are we as a community going to come together to seek out funding for crisis intervention training? we began this program without any money. everyone who participates does so on a volunteer basis. i went to memphis with the group. my office paid for me to go to memphis and so did everyone else's. this isn't a program that's funded. while that might sound terrible, i actually think it's great because what we did is figure out how to do this without any money so when money becomes available we are ready and we know how to do this. i did a presentation on
8:12 am
friday about a couple of bills pending in the u.s. congress and i think they are very important. i want to put them on the radar screen of this organization so that we together can try to figure out how to best fund programs. there is the helping families and mental health crisis act of 2015. this is also known as the murphy bill. it is a broad, very extensive mental health bill, but it has implications for the criminal justice system as well and i highly recommend looking at that. everyday there are new sponsors, it's bipartisan and i will step back a second. there is this very unusual spirit in congress of getting along around this one issue and that's criminal justice. they don't seem to get along with anything else. but this is one legislation where it may actually go forward. that's why
8:13 am
we should be ready. that's in the house and there will be an identical bill in the senate. the other one is comprehensive justice and mental health act bill and also an identical bill in the house and very much bipartisan support for this. i think to me this sounds like it's from heaven. it's by collaboration among the juvenile justice, bettering treatment services, mental health treatment and substance abuse systems. there is specific funding for crisis intervention training for the police, for law enforcement, i should say. and there are a lot of other things going on. companions bills and the state assembly being pushed by former senate pro tem darryl steinberg. so he is the going to happen. but in my experience in 10
8:14 am
years in behavioral health court, what i said i don't want to happen again, when the money comes in, everyone turns into a pirna and they go for this money. it shouldn't be that way because that's not perhaps the best use of that funding. so i'm grateful that these bills actually and the request for proposals contained in them force collaboration. you must have someone from that agency and it's kind of being forced. but i think we need to wash this legislation and be ready for it because what i think that could happen with the cit program if we get proper funding. i don't see that it should large only be limited to the san francisco police department. why not
8:15 am
invite the sheriff's department. we already have bart officers that are trained. we have officers. this could be a san francisco law enforcement training. why would we create a separate program in the sheriff's department. we could simply have a specialized section to deal with what it's like to deal with people in custody with mental health issues. we can make our grant more competitive for sure and would make the program better and outcomes better for people with mental health issues. so with could do i think something very innovative with this program if agencies can have the ability to look at the broader context of what we are trying to do which is find, create a coordinated system of care for people at any place along the criminal justice continuum. in fact the cid, then we should be doing a
8:16 am
better job. if it's behavioral health court, we should do a better job. if it's parole entry. we should require the public defender, myself, deputy public defender, sorry. to go and stand in front of this group of officers every quarter. it's the hardest thing i do because they don't want to hear from the public defender. and the fact that they invite me every time is a great statement about where we are and about where we can go. so that's kind of what i wanted to just put on your had arrest screen. you can help push us to look at the bigger picture of san francisco where mental health and
8:17 am
criminal justice intersect. so i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thank you, we are going to open up for public comment. we are going to start with council member cochair supanich? >> hi. thank you very much for coming today. while i applaud all the work that you have done and collaboration. i understand it's been difficult to establish and maintain. but there is so much more that we can do. so i was just wondering now, these federal bills that are going through, have you also looked at the state and city and county to fund this program? >> in the state there is senate bill 11 which is peace officer training and that's one of the central pieces of the recommendations that senator steinberg made back in may of last year. he announced the whole program and
8:18 am
that was the very first thing with law enforcement training as it relates to people with mental health issues. as far as what's happening in san francisco that part i don't know. i do know it's a budget time and i'm not sure if the police department has put in for cit funding or where that stands. that's not something i'm involved in. >> okay, thank you. >> council member tatiana kostanian? >> thank you. welcome. >> thank you. >> i wanted to ask. i see so much hesitation about going forward with this and you are fighting this all the way. how can the public really get in there and how can the message really be shared with the public? >> that we need to collaborate? >> yes. has that already been done or is is that in the process right
8:19 am
now? >> that's a great question. i don't know. i can tell you something that i'm working on that lieutenant molina mentioned in efforts to educate the public about these things. there are collaboratives courts that started what they are calling a speaker series. they are every other month on a friday at the state building. they are open to the public. they are free. you can have continuing legal education, continuing mental health education credits because we are certified providers. i'm working with lisa light man of collaborative courts and the district attorney's office and jail mental health and citywide case management. they are creating this training program. the last one we did last friday and that was on criminal justice and
8:20 am
mental health reform. our district attorney was present, we had mike romano from stanford with proposition 37 that changed our reform. we had a robust discussion about that. the topics we are going to talk about in the future are secondary trauma for those working in the helping professions which is a big issue with police and lawyers and mental health professionals. we are doing another program on the importance or understanding risk assessment tools. something that's very popular right now and there is also controversy about it. so we are working on that curriculum and i would, i want to have more people involved. what i'm trying to do is work with lieutenant molina to get that post certified so it could be considered advanced training. the topics are, they may or may not relate to the
8:21 am
agency they are from and that's the whole point because we want mental health providers to know what it's like to reform the law or what is coming down through federal legislation. that's very much in its infancy but that's a great way to education the public. >> would it be an enhancement to bring it to the public through public presentation through pbs presentations. >> that would be great. i think the more focus we put on this, i'm in the middle it so i don't have time. i think we've gotten very good traction with some of the stories that have come out particularly with behavioral health which is where is my focus and that is
8:22 am
a long way to dealing with the struggles and how people get involved in the criminal justice system. i think the public would welcome people getting along that don't normally work together. i think that would be quite refreshing. so, any help that we can get on that, i would welcome. >> thank you very much. >> staff. through the chair? >> jennifer thanks for coming. i actually wrote my thesis on this. i have a question that blends with the question that joanna had earlier and people with cognitive disabilities. i was working with a young man who got through the criminal justice system and was in court. the judge asked him, i understand you waved your rights, do you know what that means? and
8:23 am
he raised his hands and to me that he didn't understand the process. my question is what do lawyers get when something like that happens, oh, wait a minute. this person may not understand the process. >> not enough. when i started my career were with people with intellectual disabilities. my first interest that drew me in the mental health area was. this is a particular population that is very much under served. getting access to services is difficult. i can talk about for an hour a. there is a section on intellectual and cognitive disabilities. we
8:24 am
talked to someone from the arch and i don't know if it's still called that. it is? we vetted and reviewed people who are going to be trainers. we know it's time for us to give a hard look at our curriculum. i'm going to propose that lieutenant molina. he doesn't even know that yet but i'm going to grab him after. [ laughter ] now we are moving in the right direction. we need to perfect what we are doing. so your point is very well feign. something that we should look at. i know we've had a number of people in behavioral health court and it's been very difficult to deal with. we need some education on that. >> i'm going to check in on the
8:25 am
bridge line at this point. >> anyone there? >> we are going to go ahead. thank you very much. >> so we are going to close public comment portion and the city council going to take a break for >> >> >> >> captioning, please. thank you. >> >> >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome back from the break. we are going on to information item no. 8. i would like to
8:26 am
welcome samarra marion. no. 8. the office of citizen complaints. >> thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. my name is samarra marion with the office of citizens complaint. i want to talk to you about our office and working with the collaboration group and establishing the crisis intervention team model for responding to mental health crisis calls. the office of citizens complaint is known as occ. we receive and investigate and make findings of civilian complaint of conduct and we ensure police practices. the agency
8:27 am
established the voters in 82 and limited to just the san francisco police department, so complaints about the bart police or sheriff's department, other agencies we don't have jurisdictions over those agencies. who are we? we are a civilian staffed and we are city agency and we report to the police commission. the police commission over sees both our agent and the police department. we are a staff of 32. for the city charter none of our staff could have worked for the police department and our staff speak a variety of languages, cantonese, tagalog, french, spanish. we are on van ness, close to market. wheelchair accessible. in a city building. we have tty, we'll soon be able to use videoconferencing for american
8:28 am
sign language. your invitation to speak here brought home, our brochures are not in braille and we are working with the lighthouse for the blind and working on getting our borrow -- brochures translated. what kind of complaints? that maybe an officer was rude or a person says they were stopped because of race, ethnicity, transgender, to officer involved shootings where people are lodging complaints because their family member has been injured or killed. we have received complaints from people with disabilities about the quality of service, from family members from loved ones who are mentally ill who
8:29 am
were shot or killed by police and some individuals complain that they were wrongly subjected to involuntary detention for psychiatric situations. we have a full range of complaints. who can make a complaint? anyone can make a complaint. a victim, witness, a concerned member of our city. one doesn't have to be a victim of police conduct, one doesn't even have to witness an incident. an individual can see something on the television or read something and be concerned and if it involves the san francisco police department and appears to be misconduct, a complaint can be lodged. an organization can file a complaint on behalf of someone as well and we also receive anonymous complaints. how do you file complaints? you can do it on our website. someone can call and the complaint can be taken over the
8:30 am
phone. someone can write it or mail it in or you can come to the office and someone will take that complaint. obviously the more details you have about the event, witnesses, information, that will help us do our investigation. even though the name of our agency is office of citizen complaints, one does not have to be a citizen. immigration status is irrelevant. again, it's an unfortunate title, but we will take complaints from anyone. what happens when a complaint is filed. we receive the complaint. an investigator will review the complaint, we interview officers and we gather information and 911 records and we make findings and if there is a preponderance of the evidence, we write a report and it goes to the chief of police. if it is a serious